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Yup, just like (hopefully) everyone else, I got a chance to see Serenity this weekend. We made plans two weeks ago, with my father’s girlfriend offering to watch the twins for us so that we could go. Having turned my father onto the Firefly series, he really wanted to see it as well.
So they came over Sunday afternoon and we left Janice with Connor and Alia and then the three of us headed out to the movies, returning afterwards to a nice pot of rigatoni and meatballs.
It was the first time in 11 weeks that we’ve left the kids with someone for a non-medical reason, and it was a bit scary and exilherating at the same time. I must admit that I was a bad father and only thought of my kids once during the movie. I was thinking about them before it started, checked my watch once during, and then immediately afterwards. While we like to stay for the credits, we wanted to get home and make sure Janice wasn’t totally overwhelmed.
So I guess I need to keep this spoiler free like everyone else is. At least for a week or so, and then you’re on your own.
I can, however, talk about what makes the movie great — Joss Whedon. Fans of Firefly agree that the dialog is awesome. Those of us who were Buffy the Vampire fans already knew this. For years we tried to get you guys to watch Buffy and told you about how great the writing and dialog was. Many of you didn’t believe us. Maybe now you’ll be a bit more inclined to watch a few episodes and give it a chance.
The dialog is well-written and extremely well timed. It was a hallmark of the TV show and carries right through to the movie. Jayne’s responses (in both mediums) are some of favorite. There is a great juxtaposition of a strong-independent-nothing-hurts-me-mercenary and the little-scared-kid.
The other thing that makes the series great is the characters themselves. In Serenity, the characters get shot, stabbed, and have the shit beat of them. Why? Because the Universe isn’t a pleasant place. Life is harsh. Heroes aren’t perfect. It’s that level of characterization that makes you root for them as the underdogs. The cookie-cutter, knight in white armor hero gets old quickly. Here, our heroes are thieves. There’s a sort of Robin Hood -esq feeling to what they do, especially whenever they butt heads with the Alliance, who we all know is the true bad guy. 🙂
Mal seems to lose more fights than he wins, but that doesn’t keep him from fighting. His conviction, whether the right one or the wrong one, gives the character depth… and that in turn allows us to connect with him. And then ultimately, it makes the characters and the universe that much more believable.
There are plenty of things that I want to talk about which I can’t, because of spoilers. But I will certainly take the chance to talk to you guys in person about them. I’ve already had several in depth discussions on the movie, and it’s great to hear what others think. My friend Jason probably summed it up best when he said, “My first thought when I left the theater was, someone at Fox is going to lose their job.” Absolutely. Too bad they didn’t lose it sooner.
Oh by the way… …kitzani uses this as one of (her?) avatars. I saw it in a comment thread on joyeuse13‘s blog. I don’t mind telling you that my comment reply was "That avatar is just wrong. I went to a very bad place and I wasn’t too eager to return."